What’s all this then?

So why do you need a club admin page containing things that you might normally find on the clubroom noticeboard then?

Well, I once worked with someone who was a great pragmatist. On the wall of his office he had a quote (oh how I wish I could remember it word for word), the gist of which was this: Things have now become so complicated that it is impossible for ordinary folk to deal with things on their own, they must all cooperate or drown in a sea of bureaucracy. The surprising thing was that this gem wasn’t written in this century or the last, it was written some-when in the 1850s and is actually almost a direct quote from something found somewhere in classical Greek or Roman literature. Anyway, cutting back to the chase, we often get asked just how we deal with things like the road signs for the exhibition or data protection/child protection issues. To answer those questions we decided that we would publish useful things like this here so that others can plagiarise them for their own use. To begin with the list will be sparsely populated because there is simply too much going on, but it will grow over the coming months.

Before we start, a comment directed at the sceptics as to why we are doing this. I was involved in a conversation at an exhibition where we were discussing the new child protection policy. When I said that we were actively developing a policy with our local CVS I was told that I was wasting my time, as were the people trying to work out a generic risk assessment for a model railway exhibition. The stock answer is this.

  • To do a risk assessment and get it right gets you a gold star.
  • To do a risk assessment and get it wrong only gets you a silver star but you can use it as a defence by saying that at least you tried but didn’t foresee a stupid fool doing that particular piece of stupidity – but only if you have written it down at the time you did it.
  • To not do a risk assessment – or to do one but not record it – gets you nought out of ten and a slapped wrist (or worse a prison sentence) when the board of inquiry sits.

That’s why we are doing this, and we are setting out to put our house in order and we are happy to share our experience with the railway modelling community in the hope that in return you will share your experiences with us.

Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy

Download a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy document

Following a question by a member about child protection for which the club committee was unable to provide an answer the member found acceptable we approached our local Council for Voluntary Service, Fareham Community Action, for help in preparing a child protection policy. The PDF document behind the link on the left is the result.

Our basic approach to Child Protection is simply to ask the parent or legal guardian to accompany, supervise and take responsibility for their child at all times whilst they participate in club activities. This may seem overly simplistic but it does comply with the spirit of the law and the fact that it is our “stated policy” means that it complies with the letter of the law as well. The alternative would have been to make every member of the club undergo a CRB check and the CVS took the attitude that to make a clean CRB disclosure a condition of membership would be a gross infringement of member’s human rights. They also pointed out to us that one logical extension of the “CRB Check everyone” approach would be to insist that anyone who went to a cinema at which there were unaccompanied miors must first produce a CRB certificate to the manager before they could be allowed in – clearly a stupid idea – thank God for pragmatism.

Our advice to any any club who has not already done this is to approach your local Council for Voluntary Service and ask them to help you tailor a policy to meet your exact situation, and please feel free to download and print a copy of our policy to take with you.

Exhibition Road Signs

You may like to download the following documents:
Initial Paper
Main Plan for A27 and A32 South of Fareham
Plan extension for A32 North of Fareham
Standard letter sent to Highways Authority once the plans had been established.

Ever since we started to seriously market our exhibitions at Fareham Community Centre we have had a reputation of being the show that it is impossible to find. Initially we had some “unofficial” road signs that we put out but the council would very often go round behind us and take them down. Clearly this is not an acceptable solution and we have even heard of one club locally who were threatened with court action for doing this.

After lengthy discussion our solution was to formally approach our Highways Authority and ask them to consider the problem – see the initial paper in the left panel.

After some verbal back and forth we lodged a plan with the Authority for signposting events at the Community Centre and thereafter we simply wrote requesting permission to signpost each year. After a couple of years we extended the scheme to include traffic approaching the show from the North and this too was accepted. Once the plans were accepted we simply wrote each year giving the dates, requesting permission and confirming that we would have the requisite insurance before the event.

Data Protection

Download a Data Protection Policy document.

When the Data Protection Act 1998 superceded the previous act, for the first time manual records were covered as well as computer records. Data has to be treated with respect and organisations should make a clear statement about how they will treat their member’s data. This is our version. It was taken from a model policy posted on the Information Commissioner’s website at the time the act was introduced, which no longer appears to be available for download. It is mandatory that we must give a statement to Police or government dept. if requested to do so by them to do with any illegal activity!

this document is in need of cosmetic update to match the style of our other policy documents.

Electrical Safety and Portable Appliances Testing

Geoff and Elliott are qualified & PAT certified to test electrical equipment.